Anjem Choudary’s wife is being investigated over allegations thatshe has been running an extremist female cell in east London. The 42-year-old mother of five was caught on camera apparently praising Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) as she preached to Muslim mothers and young children at a secretive meeting.
Rubana Akhtar, who is the self-declared leader of the women’s wing of her husband’s banned Al-Mouhajiroun (ALM) movement, was also recorded apparently making anti-Semitic remarks, including referring to “filthy Jews”.
Going by the name Umm Luqman, she delivered a weekly two-hour lecture to a group of female followers in London touching on many of her husband’s favourite topics.
But following his conviction for a terrorism offence, it can now be reported that she too could face a possible prosecution that could see her following him to prison. Born in east London, Akhtar met Choudary when she joined ALM shortly after graduating from university.
The couple lived in Ilford with their five children and claimed almost £26,000 a year in benefits.
Akhtar’s allegedly inflammatory comments were captured on camera by an undercover reporter from Channel 4’s Dispatches programme. The young woman who went undercover is one of the bravest reporters of any documentary I have personally watched – she was very impressive. Not physically a big woman, and from her voice, very young. I take my hat off to her.
In one anti-Semitic rant she said: “The audacity and the arrogance of these Jews and they encourage killing of Muslim children and Muslim women. The amount of Muslim children – I won’t even use the word Palestinian – Muslim children that are in custody of those filthy Jews.”
The comments were broadcast on Channel 4 last November, but because Choudary was facing trial, her identity could not be revealed for fear of prejudicing his chances of a fair hearing.
Confirming that she was now under investigation, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are aware of the documentary. The Met’s counter-terrorism command executed search warrants at addresses in east London in relation to these inquiries. There have been no arrests. Inquiries are ongoing.”
Just days after the leader of Isil, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of the new Islamic Caliphate in June 2014, Akhtar sent her husband a message urging him to declare his support.
She wrote: “It’s haram [forbidden] to spend more than three nights without giving bayah [allegiance] once it has been announced.”
When he responded that he would do so she replied: “Allahu Akbar [God is Great] I’m so happy”